International Swimming League will help swimmer compete longer - Lilly King

US swimmer Lilly King waves after winning gold in the 100m breaststroke at the 2019 world championships
Lilly King is joined by fellow world champions Caeleb Dressel, Kylie Masse, and Olivia Smoliga in the Cali Condors team

The new International Swimming League will help swimmers stay in the sport longer, says two-time Olympic gold medallist Lilly King.

The first event of the competition, which features eight franchises from Europe and the United States, will take place in Indianapolis this weekend.

There will be six events, with the top two teams from Europe and the US making the finals in Las Vegas in December.

King, 22, has turned professional after ending her college career in March.

"There is now a designated path for professionals that wasn't really established even last year," said American King, who won 100m breaststroke and 4x100m medley relay gold at Rio 2016.

"It's going to encourage more swimmers to stay in the sport after college."

Swimming's world governing body Fina forced the cancellation of the planned first ISL event in 2018 but then backtracked on its threat to ban athletes who raced in ISL events and launched it own rival Champions Swim Series this year.

Olympic champion Adam Peaty, who challenged Fina to ban him over his backing of the ISL, will lead the London Roar franchise in the new competition.

Each event will feature four of the eight teams, with London Roar making their first appearance in the third meet in Lewisville, Texas from 19 to 20 October.

This weekend's inaugural event involves US franchises Cali Condors, who King represents, and DC Trident alongside European teams Aqua Centurions and Energy Standard.

The London leg of the ISL will take place at the Olympic Aquatics Centre from 23 to 24 November.

Teams will bring 24 swimmers - 12 male and 12 female - to the event, plus four substitutes, two of each gender.

There will be at least 40 races held over two days, with two athletes competing per race per club and two relay teams competing per relay per club, while a 4x50m mixed medley relay will be added as a tie break if needed.

No swimmer that has ever tested positive for banned substances has been allowed to join the ISL and there is also equal prize money for men and women.

"Having a zero tolerance stance on doping is something that I believe every league should have," said King, who has won 11 world championships gold medals.

"Cheaters should not be competing. End of story."

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